Deborah Schembri has been appointed the new Director General of the Malta Developers Association (MDA), it announced on Tuesday, replacing Marthese Portelli who resigned to become CEO of the Malta Chamber last week.

The Association describes Dr Schembri as a “target-oriented person”, who is “known for her excellent communicative skills and calm demeanour”.

It adds that it is “confident that Dr Schembri enjoys the trust of both its members and the general public and has full faith in her capability to lead the much-needed reforms within the industry during these challenging times”.

Dr Schembri, like Dr Portelli before her, has a background as an MP, though on the opposite side of the aisle to her predecessor, serving under the Labour Party.

She also held a cabinet position, between 2016 and 2017, as parliamentary Secretary for Lands under former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat's leadership.

Addressing this political experience, the MDA says that Dr Schembri “became a household name” chairing the pro-divorce movement during the national campaign prior to the divorce referendum.

Since then, it adds, she has “established herself as an influential civil rights activist and reformer and has acquired a wealth of knowledge regarding the industry in her role as Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Simplification of Administrative Processes and as legal counsel to the Planning Authority”.

The MDA comments that Dr Schembri has now relinquished her previously held consultancies with the Government agencies.

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